A story floating around the Internet today is a recent eBay listing that claims to be selling a huge chunk of production materials and artwork from Comico Comics, the once-huge indie publishing company that unfortunately went bankrupt in 1990. At one point in the 80’s, Comico was publishing the indie hits and now-classics Mage and Grendel.
A few days ago, an eBay posting went up claiming to have, for the low low price of $12,000 US, a HUGE chunk of original art from Comico. Gerry Giovinco, the former Comico publisher, has publicly stated that it was the policy of the company to always return original art to creative teams after printing, and that none of this is officially connected to him and his new production company.
As far as some sites like Comics Alliance and The Beat think (which I’m inclined to agree with), it’s pretty sad because even if the eBay auction is shut down and nothing is sold, there’s no guarantee that this stuff will get returned, making it a very sad way for a bunch of awesome art to resurface.
The seller’s pitch is that he got the art from a friend who is a “founder” of Comico. Of the original Comico founders, Giovinco has stated that he has nothing to do with this and has actively spoken against the sale, and other publisher/founder Phil Lasorda is dead. This leaves only Dennis La Sorda, who has yet to say anything about the materials, and given that the eBay seller is claiming to have been “storing the stuff for a friend”, a lot of people are assuming that this so-called friend is Dennis La Sorda.
Neither Dennis or Greg J. Lignelli II of Phoenixville, PA (identified as the eBay seller) have responded to emails from the nerds that are the comic press.
We can only hope that something good comes out of this and some of the art ends up going back to the artists. Personally, I always hate stories like this where people who are claiming to love comics are basically just out to make a buck at the expense of creative teams. Sort of like that guy selling “original Michael Turner art” on eBay (he was tracing and redrawing the same two or three pieces he’d bought over and over and selling those), or t-shirt designers who steal indie cartoonists’ work (and then sometimes change it) to print on T-shirts to pitch to terrible indie and metal bands and Hot Topic.
I’m not totally slamming the sale of original artwork by publishers and creators and and fans on the whole, but when there’s issues over the ownership of this original artwork, then you know someone’s been having some shady dealings with “lost” getting thrown around to cover up “stolen”.– Thanks to Robot 6 for bring this to my attention today